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Reposted from DocDawg by Denise Oliver Velez

...or maybe you just weren't alive to the awesome power and the awful responsibility of fusion politics back then. I know I sure wasn't.

Perhaps you've admired North Carolina's Forward Together Moral Monday Movement from afar? Then join us! This will be not 'just another' Moral Monday, and not merely a Tarheel affair, but rather an historic nationwide gathering. Please consider standing side-by-side with us on July 13th in Winston-Salem, NC to demonstrate your commitment to defending the right to vote.

For a detailed background on why this day and this event are so critically important, please see this diary. Stay tuned to the NC NAACP's web site for details. Our own MsSpentyouth has graciously agreed to be DKos members' point person for this historic event. Me, I'll be the bubba with manure on his boots, lookin' a mite outta place.

NC NAACP's Mass Moral March for voting rights, July 13 2015, Winston-Salem, NC

Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:00 PM PDT

Black Kos, Week In Review

by Black Kos

Commentary: African American Scientists and Inventors
by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1

Henry Ransom Cecil McBay (1914–1995) was an African - American chemist and a teacher.

McBay was born "Henry Ransom McBay" (named from his maternal grandfather, Henry Ransom) in 1914 in Mexia, Texas. His father, William Cecil McBay, was a barber who eventually became an embalmer and funeral director; his mother, Roberta Ransom (McBay), was a seamstress.

McBay was able to receive a good education because of his proficiency in math. He was able to gain admission to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and paid for his education by working in the college’s dining-hall and post office. Inspired by his math and chemistry professors, McBay studied organic chemistry and earned his B.S. degree in 1934. His Wiley professors helped him acquire a scholarship to Atlanta to work on his next degree.

With only $1.65 in his pocket, McBay immediately took a job in the Atlanta University dining hall so he could eat. After only a few days on campus, his faculty advisor, Professor K. A. Huggins, arranged for him to work in the chemistry laboratory.

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Reposted from SpiritSisters by Denise Oliver Velez
Graphic image of multicultural women by artist Michelle Robonson
Graphic by Michelle Robinson.  Used by permission of the artist.
Activist women have walked many different paths, and have come from many different places and life experiences to get to where we are today. We are bound together in a shared spirit that transcends race, ethnicity and class. We are sisters.  

Hear our voices.


SpiritSisters: Writing In Women's Voices is a group of women from all walks of life who have come together to tell our stories and discuss women's issues and rights. We come from every ethnic group, from multiple sexual orientations and gender identities, from a broad spectrum of ability status, from a wide array of socioeconomic classes, and from a diversity of traditions and cultures – spiritual, religious, and secular.  

Dominant culture narratives do not represent our lives; they elide, alter, and erase.  We are sisters in spirit, and we are taking back our narratives. We are joining together in a circle of mutual trust and support to share our stories, our histories, our identities, our very selves, as individual women and as members of all of the diverse communities and intersections where we live — and doing so in our own voices.

We discuss the harms women experience when the dominant culture does not accurately consider, believe or hear women's voices.

We will also celebrate and share the strengths of our sisters in struggle, and the stories of women who are making a difference.

 SpiritSisters will be posting Thursday 4:30 pm (Pacific)/7:30 pm (Eastern) each week, and additional postings when members have time available. We are sending email notices (BCC to ensure privacy of email addresses) when diaries are posted. If you would like to join our email list, please kosmail rb137.

If you are interested in hearing our voices and reading our stories, we ask that you click "Follow."



Andrea Spande, Denise Oliver Velez, Diogenes2008, JoanMar, kishik, mixedbag, moviemeister76, nomandates, Onomastic, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, peregrine kate, poco, ramara, rb137, shanikka, TexMex, TrueBlueMajority, Vita Brevis, and Yasuragi.

Daily Kos has always been host to the voices of wide range of women. Many Daily Kos editors and staff members are female. Daily Kos hosts a current series "This Week in the War on Women," which provides a weekly summary of news on women's issues and information on current political actions." Women on Daily Kos are individual diarists, commenters, administrators of community groups, rescue rangers, fund raisers for those in need, and readers.

We feel that we need a space here for you to hear our individual voices, telling our herstories of both joy and pain. We realize that not all women are feminists, and not all women are progressive, but we know the path to making that change is open through education and sharing from the heart. We are also aware that the culture we live in has erected barriers between and among women, and those men who support our struggles.

We SpiritSisters as a group, are resolved to celebrate difference, break through barriers, and to promote and build solidarity with love and respect.

Please join us in this effort.


Tue May 26, 2015 at 03:04 PM PDT

Cartoon: All lives matter*

by keefknight

Reposted from Comics by Denise Oliver Velez

Krazy sale at!

Support ye olde gentleman cartoonist at Patreon!

Black Kos logo
Thoughts about Black Kos, (with a poll)

Commentary by Black Kos Editor Denise Oliver-Velez

After reading and responding to many of the detailed and thoughtful comments, in "How did you begin to unlearn racism?" on Sunday—some from people I've never seen comments from before, and others who I know are regular members or readers of Black Kos—it got me to thinking. We have an excellent resource right here at Daily Kos, for unlearning racism—a Black Kos community in which a majority of readers and members are white (even though assumptions are often made that they are black—just 'cause they are here) who have a real interest in interacting at Daily Kos with black folks and other people of color, and staying on top of news, and views from the black diaspora.

This comment from Black Kos community member joedemocrat touched me, and I thank him for making it.

Hi Denise and everyone (9+ / 0-)

I'll answer your question honestly as I can....

When I came to Daily Kos, I could recognize overt racism, but not the subtle kind. I had never heard the term white privilege or other terms. Also, I did not know how it was embedded or about issues like police brutality, and mass incarceration, etc..

I grew up in a small town in the midwest that was all white. I had high school teachers who were bothered by the idea of interracial marriage. I knew people who were furious there was an organization called NAACP thinking it a reverse form of racism.

People may say they aren't racist. But they support racist policies and racist politicians and political parties.

My mother didn't have those beliefs, so it wasn't taught at home. She was born in the early 1930's in Germany. She knew both poverty and war. She was a strong Democrat -
as strong as they come.

There were WWII Veterans who didn't like us. I was made fun of in school.

Also, unfortunately I had a verbally abusive father.

This has made me want to stick up for the underdog and the oppressed. That probably gave me an open mind to learn.

I feel I am slower to pick up on non-overt racism than you or others who participate in Black Kos are. I try to follow. If you or other Black Kos regulars are bothered by something and I don't understand, instead of thinking you overreacted I try to listen and learn.

We are all who we are politically due to our life experiences. Those experiences will be different. We can all relate best to ourselves and those like us. But sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself "What was it like to walk in these people's shoes?"  And one reason this country is in so much trouble is very few people can do that. Oppression seems normalized in many ways. Anytime a group gets any kind of privileged status, they become disconnected from those who don't.

I think it is important to build bridges too because we are always stronger together than as individuals. And there are so many problems we need to work together.

In that effort to build bridges, and to look at where we've been and where we are today, we'd like to hear from you regulars but also those who "lurk" and read but may not comment.  

It's been several years since I posted "A question for Kossaks (with poll)," which was followed by Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile: roll call and lurker come-out edition, which garnered 615 comments and 127 recommends. I decided it is time to do it again.

We have two new editors, Joan Mar and ChitownKev, (yay!) and new readers too.

First a little history:
For those of you who are not Daily Kos "old timers," Black Kos, was founded by dopper0189, on Tue Jan 02, 2007, as an open thread, which evolved into Black Kos: weekly round up, and then became Black Kos: Week in review.  On Fri Mar 21, 2008 dopper published "My last Black Kos week in review diary," and Black Kos as a UID was born.

As you can see from reading this diary, Black Kos is "going community" on you! Starting next week Black Kos will be a group effort, Robinswing, Sephius1, Terrypinder, and myself will collaborate on writing "Black Kos week in review" diaries. The new home starting next week will be at Black Kos. Thank you Markos and Meteor Blades for giving us permission to do so (and understanding this isn't a "sockpuppet" but a community effort). So in the future please hotlist "Black Kos". Thank you everyone who read and helped make this diary possible, I will still be around as dopper0189, but the week in review will now be done by the group ID Black Kos. Once again thank you everyone!
Black Kos currently has 765 followers, and the Black Kos community, was founded in 2011.

Black Kos has gone through some amazing highs over time, and our most recommended  diary was ***Update: Statement of Opposition to Racist Labels Used by Kossacks to Criticize President Obama, with 2524 comments, 983 recommends, posted on April 16, 2013, followed immediately by Continued: Statement of Opposition to Racist Labels Used by Kossacks to Criticize President Obama, because the first diary became almost impossible to open.

We've been through meta, and pie wars, ups and downs, and each year end dopper0189  (David-who we affectionately call "Chief") publishes a Black Kos Year in Review.

We've covered the earthquake in Haiti, news out of Africa, and the ongoing protests and reactions to the killings of black folks here at home, as well as electoral politics, history, science, medicine, the environment, music, art, poetry, film and television.

Now we would like to hear from you—our readers.  

Please take the poll at the bottom of the diary, and we hope some of you will de-lurk to say hello.  We'd like to hear from regular members too, about when and why you joined.

One of the things we learned in the last poll was that many people don't comment because they feel they "don't want to intrude" in a "black space," not realizing that this is an integrated space with more white than black members.

If you would like an invitation to join, let us know in comments.  You can also check the heart next to Black Kos up top to follow us.

I just want to add yet another thank-you to our Chief—for having sustained this series for so long, to previous editors, and most of all to our readers and members.

See you on the porch.


How have you been involved with Black Kos?

8%12 votes
27%40 votes
8%13 votes
34%50 votes
12%19 votes
2%3 votes
3%5 votes
1%2 votes
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| 147 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from chaunceydevega by Denise Oliver Velez

Memorial Day was a tradition inaugurated after the American Civil War by (now) freed black Americans. Black America's history is American history, even while too many of those who are invested in the herrenvolk White dream and past of America in the present are dedicated to erasing such a basic fact from our schools, libraries, and other centers of learning.

Senior historian Dr. David Blight wrote a fine essay on Memorial Day's origins for The New York Times in 2011. It is still worth revisiting on this day.

But, did you know that the Confederacy is also included in Memorial Day celebrations? Moreover, that Barack Obama, the United States' first President who happens to be black has continued with a tradition where the White House sends a wreath to the Confederate Monument in Arlington?

Germany had the good sense to confront its Nazi past. yet, in the United States, the Confederacy, a treasonous rebellion that fought for white supremacy and to keep millions of black people as human property, is still celebrated and honored.

The Confederate flag is the American Swastika, the name of the founder of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest, is still on schools and street signs in the South, and the White Right still embraces the language and iconography of the Confederacy as they bemoan and attempt to usurp Barack Obama's legitimacy and authority.

One of Blight's peers, Dr. James McPherson, along with other prominent historians and academics, sent a letter to Barack Obama in 2009 in which they suggested that he stop honoring the Confederates and their white supremacist cause on Memorial Day:

Early in President Obama’s first term, a group of academics that included prominent Civil War historian James McPherson asked him to end the tradition of sending a Memorial Day wreath to the Confederate Monument in Arlington, which they felt represented “the nadir of American race relations” and “a denial of the wrong committed against African Americans by slave owners, Confederates, and neo-Confederates, through the monument’s denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes.”

Obama opted instead to send wreaths both to the Confederate memorial and to the African American Civil War Memorial in the U Street neighborhood.

The matter of how and if the Confederacy should be honored on Memorial Day remains unresolved.

In Virginia, a group of Confederate sympathizers is upset that a local church will not allow them to fly the American Swastika during this year's Memorial Day celebrations:

John Branson is the current rector of Christ Church Episcopal in Old Town Alexandria, where Robert E. Lee worshipped and where 34 Confederate soldiers are still buried. Every year on May 24, the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, wearing their grays and bearing rebel flags, would hold a Confederate Memorial Day service. Branson says the rector before him put an end to the tradition. “The church has suggested that they take their ceremonies elsewhere.”

One member of the Confederate group calls the change of policy “intolerant.”

The parish still permits the group to hold a quiet wreath-laying ceremony in the churchyard but prohibits any display of Confederate regalia. “They have a full, formal color guard that they’d like to use, but they continue to display the Confederate flag, and we find that offensive,” Branson says.

Justice is so askew in America, that white supremacist sympathizers now complain that they are treated in an "intolerant" manner. Oh, I so dream of the day when that is in fact the rule in the United States.

Brother Doctor Martin Luther King Junior famously said that the arc of justice is long. Perhaps the arc of justice also has an ironic sense of humor as a black man who is President of the United States now sends a wreath to "honor" those who fought to keep people who look like him as human property, to be raped, murdered, tortured, and labor and wealth extracted from their bodies and souls in the service of white supremacist capitalist expansion and greed.

The secesh trash are likely rolling over in their graves at the thought of a black man being President of the United States. Alexander Stephen's white supremacist "Cornerstone Speech" is no comfort as their bones rot and they receive honorifics from a black man named Barack Obama, he who is the leader of a multicultural corporate democracy.

Reposted from Daily Kos by Denise Oliver Velez
United States Army Private First Class William K. Nakamura, Medal of Honor recipient
United States Army Private First Class William K. Nakamura, U.S. Medal of Honor recipient, awarded posthumously.
In "The Memorial Day history forgot: The Martyrs of the Race Course," I wrote last year about the not very well known African-American roots of Memorial Day. In recent years, some media attention has been paid to the long history of Black military service—from the Revolutionary War, including Haitians who fought for us, through the civil war, in films like Glory, and the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II—no matter the racism we faced, and still face in this country.  

We hear less about other soldiers of color—Asian, Native American and Latino who died for us, who also faced, and still face discrimination within our shores.

Pictured above is William Kenzo Nakamura (January 21, 1922-July 4, 1944).

He was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Nakamura was born in Seattle to Japanese immigrant parents. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American. His family was interned in Minidoka in Idaho during World War II. Nakamura volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.

On July 4, 1944, Nakamura was serving as a private first class in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. On that day, near Castellina, Italy, he single-handedly destroyed an enemy machine gun emplacement and later volunteered to cover his unit's withdrawal. He was then killed while attacking another machine gun nest which was firing on his platoon

Follow me below the fold for more of this memorial history.
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Reposted from The Justice Department on Netroots by justiceputnam

Justice Putnam photo Tri City Park Close Up_zpsmdsioxfq.jpg

The Justice Department is on Netroots Sundays 8pm to 9pm Pacific. Powered by Unity Radio Net!

I'm Special Agent DJ Justice; Radio Host and Program Director for Netroots Radio; and I'm manning the dials, spinning the discs, warbling the woofers, putting a slip in your hip and a trip to your hop.

The playlist for Sunday 24 May 15 8pm to 9pm Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

 ~~ "The Streets of His Soldier Mind" ~~

1 - War -- "Slippin' Into Darkness"
2 - Sly and The Family Stone -- "Family Affair"
3 - Counting Crows -- "Colorblind"
4 - Living Colour -- "Burned Bridges"
5 - Nina Simone -- "Wild is the Wind"
6 - Michael Franti and Spearhead -- "Soulshine"

Station Break

7 - Alison Krauss -- "Can't Find My Way Home"
8 - Santana -- "Europa"
9 - Miriam Makeba -- "Mbube"
10 - Mamadou Diabaté  -- "Tunga"
11 - Red Hot Chili Peppers -- "Castles Made Of Sand"
12 - Dengue Fever -- "Uku"

Who luvs ya, baby?


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Reposted from Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. by a2nite

Americans used to have rights. Primarily the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Also we supposedly have the the right to be "secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government" -- "without warrant or probable cause."

It seems in some sections of America however, rogue police officers and the one-sided courts, have effectively made these American Rights -- null and void -- with respect to any common sense understanding of these rights.

It's kind of hard to "pursue happiness" -- when you've just been shot 137 times!

When can police use lethal force against a fleeing suspect? -- April 8, 2015


Can police officers shoot at fleeing individuals?

Only in very narrow circumstances. A seminal 1985 Supreme Court case, Tennessee vs. Garner, held that the police may not shoot at a fleeing person unless the officer reasonably believes that the individual poses a significant physical danger to the officer or others in the community. That means officers are expected to take other, less-deadly action during a foot or car pursuit unless the person being chased is seen as an immediate safety risk.

In other words, a police officer who fires at a fleeing man who a moment earlier murdered a convenience store clerk may have reasonable grounds to argue that the shooting was justified. But if that same robber never fired his own weapon, the officer would likely have a much harder argument.

You don’t shoot fleeing felons. You apprehend them unless there are exigent circumstances -- emergencies -- that require urgent police action to safeguard the community as a whole,” said Greg Gilbertson, a police practices expert and criminal justice professor at Centralia College in Washington state.

Am I creating more of a danger by chasing this person than if I let this person stay at large?” Drago said. “Especially in a vehicle pursuit, is it worth risking everyone on the road to catch this guy?”

Good questions.  When do Police in "hot pursuit" -- become a bigger problem, than the one they are supposedly chasing?

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Reposted from TarheelDem by Denise Oliver Velez

I am going to give in to Denise Oliver Velez's request to turn a comment into a diary.  The aversion to length (TL;DR) is a peculiar modern affliction, but I will make it easier for people who suffer from it primarily because this issue is so important.

Southern segregation prior to the 1960s and automobility was different from segregation outside the South in that it was a matter of legal institutions and enforced with occasional violence.  Being institutional, it was a matter of status and not geography.  In fact, having black workers closeby was an advantage.  The geographical segregation then was widely distributed and on a micro-scale instead of being the huge segregated neighborhoods of the big cities or the concentrated black communities of lesser non-Southern cities.

My wife, who is from Michigan experience the black customers of her grand-dad's garage in Benton Harbor as "shadow people"  and first met a black person face-to-face in a church program at the age of 13.   A good number of my earliest friends growing up had black domestic servants (called "maids") who looked after their employers' children all day -- and that included any friends of those children.  I cannot remember a world without black people in it an close by.  So much so that when in the mid-1970s I moved from Atlanta to Green Bay it took me a while to figure out why the city felt so strange.  You never saw black people on the street, but you occasionally saw a black man or a black family driving a Mercedes.  That's a strange awakening to yet another aspect of racism.

My take on how I unlearned the racism that I have so far unlearned is below the orange curlicue.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Denise Oliver Velez
Overpass Light Brigade with lights that read
Overpass Light Brigade, "Unlearn Racism"
When the Overpass Light Brigade brought the message of "Unlearn Racism" to Milwaukee, they held up lights on a subject that we are confronted with daily, but are not always sure how to address as individuals. We know that anthropologists and other scientists have made it clear for years that biological "race" exists as only a social construct, but that "racism" is alive and well and none of us are unaffected by the miasma from the racial swamp we breathe in daily.

So many of our efforts are focusing on protesting the more obvious deleterious effects of systemic racism—via protests and legislation—that we don't always have time to have a conversation about what to do about it, person by person. This is what Ricky Sherover-Marcuse called "attitudinal racism."

Because racism is both institutional and attitudinal, effective strategies against it must recognize this dual character. The undoing of institutionalized racism must be accompanied by the unlearning of racists attitudes and beliefs. The unlearning of racists patterns of thought and action must guide the practice of political and social change.

As a black person, I'm always interested in trying to figure out in conversations with my close friends who are not black—what makes them tick? How did they shake off the shackles of ostensible racial superiority and change? What was it in their upbringing, surrounds, faith, ethical teachings, incidents that took place along the road of life that allowed them to scour out racism or at least start the cleansing? Perhaps if more people would talk about how they unlearned racism, it would help direct others onto that path.

Follow me below the fold to begin that conversation.

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Reposted from Steven D by Denise Oliver Velez

Many, many police officers and their supporters are going ape shit very upset at a group of student artists at Westfield High School in New Jersey for daring to exhibit their artwork.  Why?  Because the art in question is based on the theme "Law Enforcement - Police Brutality."  I guess cops can give a punch (or a taser shot, "rough ride" or a bullet) but they can't stand to see any artistic expression of that behavior, symbolic or otherwise.  And so they are lambasting the high school and the student artists whose only crime, as far as I can tell, was using their own life experience of interactions with police to inform what they create.

Artwork depicting scenes of police brutality displayed in a Westfield High School art show has set off a firestorm of comments from police supporters who have called the images "a gross misrepresentation," "ignorant" and "one-sided."

The artwork depicts images of officers with guns drawn, a target on a silhouette with his hands up, a bloodied body stabbed by a police shield and other scenes on a poster board that reads "Law Enforcement - Police Brutality." The silkscreens were part of an annual project where students depict their takes on controversial topics, according to a student.

A storm of protest on social media erupted after the images first appeared on the school's facebook page, with a large number of people calling for the firing of the Superintendent for the school district, Dr. Margaret Dolan.  Here's a screenshot of some of the tamer responses to the exhibit posted on the school's facebook page:

Of course, Fox News couldn't resist covering this story.  Here's Eric Bolling's fair and balanced take on this matter, where he implicitly blamed the teachers at Westfield High for attacking the police, and demanded the exhibit be "taken down."

Superintendent Dolan, as result of this "controversy" posted a response attempting to defuse the criticism from people who posted such comments and attacked the school district for "teaching kids to disrespect the police."  

I am sorry that information that has been passed along via social media and elsewhere has not told the entire story and has led some to believe that we do not respect law enforcement. We do, and we are teaching our students to do the same.
Ironically, it was the kids at the school who chose the subject - not the Superintendent, not their teachers.  They were told that it was their choice to make and that, as one of the students, Kayla related to
"We submitted several different topics of our choice and finally narrowed them down to three - Law Enforcement- Police Brutality, Modern Technology Advances and Gender Equality," said student Kayla McMillan. "The students were allowed to choose either side of the arguments and were told they would not be in trouble for their own opinions."
Welcome to the real world, Kayla, where people will not respect your right to freedom of expression if it upsets their delicate sensibilities.  Obviously, the student artists who created these images didn't do so in a vacuum, nor did their teachers brainwash them to "hate the police."  The reality in America today is that police violence against all citizens, but particularly minority populations, is commonplace, despite falling crime rates.  We've all seen overzealous and violent law enforcement responses to peaceful protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street, and far too many shootings, and other instances of police violence against African Americans and Latinos, many of them unarmed and often while they were already in custody (e.g., Freddy Gray).  

The cops and their supporters can loudly proclaim all they want that these "incidents" are infrequent and represent only a few bad apples.  However, as more stories come out of officially sanctioned abuse and outright torture, such as what occurred in Chicago's infamous Homan Square station, and as more and more people capture video of these brutal outrages (e.g., Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Eric Garner) where innocent people are murdered by cops, the harder it is to defend the police, especially since so many of them remain silent in the face of their fellow officers' open criminality.

Frankly, in this case, the kids got it right.

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